I’ve been thinking more about the design of cities recently. As such, the Guardian article The urban age: how cities became our greatest design challenge yet caught my eye. The author talks about cities as products, as commodities even. If you’re interested in cities as products (or services), you should read it. Here are some excerpts I found particularly interesting.

Yet here we are, in the position of having to manufacture new urban spaces, as though cities were just another type of product.

The same deregulation that relieved the banks of any compunction to behave responsibly has also been changing the visible face of the city. The free-market agenda is what makes public spaces in so many cities nothing more than places to shop at chain stores or drink at Costa Coffee, often under the supervision of private security guards.

The question is this: how do we create cities that are not just containers for tightly-packed populations, but pleasant and equitable places to live?

Now that city-making has become a priority, politicians need to have faith in designers.

Pleasant and equitable places to live? Definitely sounds like an opportunity for some human-centered design. I would love to see designers (and not just architects) playing a greater role in this arena.